Genes and Primal Living

The Primal Blueprint Health Coaching course is full of information on health and nutrition, business development and support.  I’ve run though this is a prior blog and for my next series of blogs I will review each chapter of the course and what I garnered from it.

Genetics, the foundation of life

The course first begins off with a key concept of how we can reprogram our genes1. Some genes can be turned on and off2. Genes are a sequence of nucleotides that program for amino acids, the building blocks of the human body3. They are the recipe for development. But development does not occur absent of the environment  So what are the environmental conditions in which genes expression occurs4? Gene expression occurs in the environment of energy intake, in the form of food, water (or liquids), air, sunlight, rest, and supplementation. The recipe of the genetic code is baked in the environment in which it exists. But the powerful aspect of genes, is that they keep producing new signals to create new biochemical processes. That means if you change the environment, such as the food intake, new genetic expression may occur5. The chapter carries on with an in-depth look at the central dogma of DNA, and reproduction of genes. For more detailed information, I recommend signing up for the course (which you can do on this page of my website), taking some school courses or reading a book such as: The Gene.

Packaged food has additives that can cause inflammation

Another important point that is highly relevant is the concept of systemic inflammation6.  Systemic inflammation occurs from a long term stressors on the body’s biochemical system, which in turn effects the physical and metal structures. Acute stressors occur often and may be beneficial to strengthening the system7.  But when the stressors continue and do not subside, they become a chronic condition that can spread throughout the body and attack many of the bodily systems at once. Stressors not only include emotional experiences, or over training, but also from the food we consume8.

As mentioned genes are a recipe, and the ingredients, the genes that you have, determine the range of what the bio-chemical processes will produce9. For example, with sports, there are genes that determine you ability for endurance. The higher the genetic programming for endurance, the better you may be at it. But that will only come to fruition if the environment the genes are in, ie: the food and air intake is healthy; along with the required propensity to train (people can be forced, but that does not often last- motivation must come intrinsically). Use it or lose it. But the opposite is also true. Do not use it, and it will not develop. Do not supply your genes with the actions that cause diabetes, meaning do not supply your body with sugar that causes spikes of insulin, and you will protect your body from becoming overweight and thereby providing the potential of developing diabetes.

Genes engage with the environment you are in

The next topic we touch on is optimal gene expression. Genes evolved throughout time through the process of natural selection10. Genes are constantly under pressure from natural selection, but the process is so slow you do not see the effects unless you view it from a larger time span. However, many truths that benefited our ancestors also benefit us today, such as these tenants from Mark Sisson, founder of Primal BluePrint: Eat plants and animals, avoid poisonous things (ie: grains, refined sugars, refined seed oils), move frequently, lift heavy things, sprint occasionally, sleep well, play, get sunlight, avoid stupid mistakes (ie: texting while driving), and use your brain (ie: read).   

The course approach is done through an evolutionary lens. Focusing on the on/off aspect of genes. This is an empowering perspective in understanding that we have control over our biochemical processes to some dimension. Of course, there are genetic disorders that are caused by the genes themselves and will express themselves in any environment.  Seek medical care for these health concerns. But for the genes that can be turned on and off, following a primal healthy lifestyle will be able to provide you with  the tools to express the genes most beneficial to your longevity.

Published by Collin Wynter

Exploring rights of our freedom of expression and justice

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